You Belong @MIT

In 2017, The Teaching + Learning Lab, supported by MIT’s MindHandHeart initiative, launched "You Belong @MIT". Our goal is to host events that engage the MIT community in discussions of the literature on student belonging and to help faculty and staff identify department and subject-based strategies to increase students’ sense of belonging. In Spring 2018, we continued these conversations with Professor Greg Walton and have included a video of the event below.


Spring 2018 Presentation by Gregory M. Walton

CLICK HERE to access the slides that accompany this presentation.

Gregory M. Walton, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, The Michael Forman University Fellow in Undergraduate Education, Stanford University

Psychologically Wise Strategies to Support Belonging in a Diverse College Community

In his talk on May 1, 2018, Walton described seminal research exploring the factors that shape students’ feelings of belonging in demanding academic environments, factors that can give rise to inequalities, and how interventions that address these issues can promote equity and raise achievement, sometimes over months and years, to benefit both individuals and institutions.

Greg Walton is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Stanford University. Much of his research investigates psychological processes that contribute to major social problems and how “wise” interventions that target these processes can address such problems and help people flourish, even over long periods of time. Dr. Walton focuses on fundamental ways in which people make sense of themselves, other people, and social situations, how meanings people draw can be counterproductive and self-reinforcing (e.g., “People like me don’t belong here”) and how they can be altered to cause lasting benefits to individuals and to society.

Dr. Walton earned his A.B. in Philosophy from Stanford in 2000 and a PhD in Psychology from Yale University in 2005. After graduate school, he worked for a year as a fellow in the Office of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Waterloo before joining the Stanford faculty in 2008.